June 1

Psalm 32:1,2

    What do you consider to be a blessing? What above all would you like to have happen to you in this life? What do you consider very, very necessary, and have before your consciousness as that for which by all means you should pray?

    In Psalm 32:1 2 David writes, ''Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.''  Do you agree? How many of your prayers contain an urgent plea for this blessing of having your sins covered and of not having your iniquity imputed to you?

    It is easy to count material goods, life, and health as blessings, and then only way back in the mind to consider forgiveness of sin a blessing. We may be called upon in our worship service in God's house to sing the words below; but their seriousness and significance may not be before our minds. The versification has it thus:

    How blest is he whose trespass
    Hath freely been forgiven;
    Whose sin is wholly covered
    Before the sight of heaven.
    Blest he to whom Jehovah
    Imputeth not his sin;
    Who hath a guileless spirit.
    Whose heart is true within

    Many if not most, of the prayers that are heard in broadcasts, in public meetings, and even from pulpits of churches, omit this important item in prayer and reveal that social, political, and material advantages for the flesh are much more important, and are given much more time in prayer.

    Do you feel pressing down upon your soul your awful load of guilt? Are you one of those of whom Jesus spoke, when He called those laboring to get rid of their load of sin, and still found themselves with the heavy load and as not having reached one bit of rest?  If so, agree with David that he whose sin is forgiven has a rich blessing.

    Be sure that here is where our blessings begin. If we do not have that blessing we have no blessings at all.

Read: Psalm 32
Psalter versification: 63:1

Daily  Meditations
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 131
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

2 Samuel 18
2 Samuel 19:1-10
John 20:1-31
Psalm 119:153-176
Proverbs 16:14-15

Quote for Reflection:

"Ah, dear child, to think that you must be raised up and will shine as the stars, yea, like the sun. I am joyful in spirit, but I am sad according to the flesh. The flesh doesn't take kindly to this. The separation caused by death troubles me above measure. It is strange to know that she is surely at peace and she is well off there, very well off, and yet to grieve so mum." Martin Luther, at the death of his daughter Magdalene

June 2

Psalm 32:5

    Having written in Psalm 32:2 that the man is blessed whose spirit has no guile, that is, no insincerity, David states in verse 5, '"I acknowledge my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid.  I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.''   This presents us with an awesome truth.  If we fail to confess our sins, we are trying to hide them.  And if we try to hide them, we are rightly branded as those whose spirit is full of guile.

    Let us, every step of our way, from today onward, take with us the truth that defending ourselves in our sins is adding to our sins. We cannot cover our sins, but trying to do so only reveals how sinful we are. We arc not deceiving God but deceiving ourselves.

    Therefore the call comes to us to confess every sin and not try to cover one either by silence or by untrue words. Instead we must run to God with our sins, seeking salvation in His grace. Sing this truth:

    While I kept guilty silence
    My strength was spent with grief,
    Thy hand was heavy on me,
    My soul found no relief;
    But when I owned my trespass,
    My sin hid not from Thee,
    When I confessed transgression,
    Then Thou forgavest me.

    The way to the assurance that Christ's blood blotted out all our sins is to confess that they are sins. It is to run to God, and not merely admit to men that we sinned. It is running with a heart that expresses its hatred of that sin. Doing this, we confess our love to God against Whom we sinned. Finding this love to God in our souls we find a work in us that reveals God's love to us. Then instead of feeling the heavy hand of God upon us in holy anger, we enjoy His heavy hand of mercy upon us as manifested in Christ.

    Then we will enjoy the blessedness of forgiveness and live in the assurance of God's love for us.

Read: Luke 15:1-24
Psalter versification: 83:2

Daily  Meditations
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 54
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

2 Samuel 19:11-43
2 Samuel 20:1-13
John 21:1-25
Psalm 120:1-7
Proverbs 16:16-17

Quote for Reflection:

John Calvin on Ephesians 4:13 : "What is the highest perfection of Christians? How is that perfection attained? Full manhood is found in Christ; for foolish men do not, in a proper manner, seek their perfection in Christ. It ought to be held as a fixed principle among us, that all that is out of Christ is hurtful and destructive."

June 3

Psalm 32:10

    God is everywhere, and every creature exists only because God is there upholding it in His providence. But God is not everywhere with His mercy. As David wrote in Psalm 32:10, "Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about."

    And that the wicked shall know many sorrows is because God encompasses them with his holy wrath. The wicked come up against God in their hatred towards Him, and He comes up against them and gives them sorrows for their hatred towards Him; and He comes up against them and gives them sorrows for their sins. A foolish man who runs into a bush that is full of sharp thorns will have many sorrows. How much more painful shall it be to run up against the almighty and holy God?

    Remember that each time we sin we are opposing God. It makes no difference whether it is a sinful thought, desire, word, or physical deed, sinning is going against the God Who created us so that we might serve Him in love.

    But there is forgiveness for those who look to God in hatred of their sins. For trust in God — and David calls those who seek forgiveness, those who trust in God — is first of all conviction that He is God and has the right to order our steps and decide what our conduct and behavior in His creation must be. Trusting Him we shall be surrounded and encircled by and with His mercy, as we sing:

    So let the godly seek Thee
    in times when Thou art near;
    No whelming floods shall reach them,
    Nor cause their hearts to fear.
    In Thee, O Lord, I hide me,
    Thou savest me from ill,
    And songs of Thy salvation
    My heart with rapture thrill.

    The point is that those who trust in God are protected from the fiery darts of God's holy wrath. For they are encompassed, that is, encircled by Christ, Who is our merciful Savior. In Him God treats us tenderly, and in His time will bring us to His house of many mansions where there is no sorrow but only joy and gladness.

    Are you trusting Him to do this to you?

Read: Psalm 37:1-29
Psalter versification: 83:3

Daily  Meditations
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 91
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

2 Samuel 20:14-26
2 Samuel 21:1-22
Acts 1:1-26
Psalm 121:1-8
Proverbs 16:18

Quote for Reflection:

John Eadie on Ephesians 4:13 : "The Christian ministry is appointed to labor for the perfection of the church of Christ, a perfection which is not a romantic anticipation, but which consists of the communicated fullness of Christ."

June 4

    A way can be a pathway leading to a particular place or object. It may also be a manner of conducting oneself.  Thus sometimes we say, "If you continue to live that way, you will be sorry."  What the psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:33, 34 means both. He writes, "Teach me, O Lord, the way of Thy statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep Thy law to the end;  yea I shall observe it with my whole heart."

    Quite plainly that way here is a pathway, for he will keep it to the end. However, understanding that way and doing so with his whole heart speaks of his conduct. And if the saints in the Old Testament times needed to be taught where to walk and how, we surely also do, and need to pray for understanding.

    We have so many temptations that are far more subtle than those of the saints in the day when this Psalm was written. Our lives are so crowded with the things of this world, which are so close to us. Satan has so many new devices to use to try to make us leave that path of God's law.

    What we need is an understanding heart. We must not only know the path on which we must walk, but also whether this deed or that is walking on that path. We can go to church on the Sabbath, but in our conduct are we worshiping God with our whole heart? Are our works there those of pure love to God? We may sing it there, but is this our sincere prayer?

    Teach me, O Lord Thy way of truth,
    And from it I will not depart;
    That I may steadfastly obey,
    Give me an understanding heart.

    Now to get an understanding heart we must live close to God's word and pray that He will teach us that way of His statutes. By nature our hearts do not like walking in that law of God. We love our own flesh too much. Therefore make this your prayer. There is so much that we still need to learn.

Read: Psalm 119:33-48
Psalter versification: 325:1

Daily  Meditations
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 130
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

2 Samuel 22
2 Samuel 23:1-23
Acts 2:1-47
Psalm 122:1-9
Proverbs 16:19-20

Quote for Reflection

Charles Bridges: "The Christian is the only enviable person in the world. The seeming blessings of evil men are God’s heavy curses; and the smart of the stripes is a favour too good for them to enjoy. To judge wisely of our condition, it is to be considered, not so much how we fare, as upon what terms. If we stand right with heaven, every cross is a blessing; and every blessing a pledge of future happiness. If we be in God’s disfavor, every one of his benefits is a judgment; and every judgment makes way for perdition. Instead of envying sinners in their successful wickedness, dread their character more than their end, and rejoice that your Father never counted the poor vanities of this world a worthy portion for you."

June 5

Psalm 119:35, 36

    Do you realize that Satan's approach to Adam and Eve was to get them to fall into covetousness?  His end was to get them to turn away from God and to live in hatred towards Him. But his means was to get them to covet God's wisdom and sovereignty. Therefore he told them that eating of the forbidden fruit would make them to be like God. And all our sin today is due to the fact that we covet God's unique position as our lawgiver, Lord and Master, Who may tell us what we must do and how to live.

    It is also for that reason that the psalmist in Psalm 119:35, 36 writes, "Make me to go in the path of Thy commandments;  for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness."  Or as we sing it:

    In Thy commandments make me walk
    For in Thy law my joy shall be;
    Give me a heart that loves Thy will,
    From discontent and envy free.

    Did you notice that the psalmist speaks again of the path of God's commandments and prays that he may walk therein with a heart that is not covetous? It is the discontent of covetousness that makes us walk in sin. Walking in God's law demands complete self denial. That is why the psalmist prays that his heart may be inclined to God's testimonies. Our hearts go out to the thing that pleases our flesh, not to what pleases God. When it comes down to it, we want to be God. Satan said that we could be like Him, and our old nature wants us to tell God to obey us, and be our servant.

    Our lips may not say that. Adam's did not either. But our walk does, and often our idea of heaven is that it is a place where all will serve us. Serving God there is not in our thoughts of heaven's blessedness.

    How necessary then that we pray earnestly and fervently that God will make us go in the path of  righteousness. He must do it, and He sent His Son to earn the right for us to have it, and to incline our hearts to loving submission to Him. Make it your prayer today.

Read: Luke 12:13-31
Psalter versification: 325:

Daily  Meditations
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 21
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

2 Samuel 23:24-39
2 Samuel 24:1-25
Acts 3:1-26
Psalm 123:1-4
Proverbs 16:21-23

Quote for Reflection:

...it is certain that he did not suffer that punishment on his own account. It follows, therefore, either that he was crucified in vain, or that our curse was laid upon him, in order that we might be delivered from it.  John Calvin

June 6

Psalm 119:37,38

    In the wisdom that God gave Solomon, he wrote, "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.'' And in His grace God gave the psalmist in Psalm 119:37, 38 to write, "Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken me in Thy way.  Stablish Thy word unto Thy servant, who is devoted to Thy fear."

    Two truths may be noted here. Beholding vanity is the opposite of walking in God's way, that is, serving God. And in order to be turned from vanity, we must be established in God's word.

    Now vanity is emptiness; and man's life by nature is vanity because it is completely void or empty of the service of God for which he was created.

    The point to consider today is that because our lives are so full of sin, they are empty of service to God with our whole being and with all our earthly possessions. The psalmist does not merely mean that we must want to see that there is vanity in our lives, such as lack of worship of God, but that we must be kept from being attracted by all the vanity that is all around us. Our versification sings:

    Turn Thou my eyes from vanity,
    And cause me in Thy ways to tread;
    O let Thy servant prove Thy word
    And thus to godly fear be led.

    Plainly he wants to be stopped from being attracted by that which keeps him from serving God and wants to serve Him more fully.

    How about it? A bottle cannot be full of water and of air at the same time. One's life cannot be empty of the service of God and at the same time be full of love toward God. We with the psalmist must want to have our hearts completely full of love to God, and not be satisfied until that is the case with us.

    Being turned from vanity means that we are quickened, that is, given zeal to do only what God calls us to do, namely, love Him and serve Him always every step of our way.

    Is that your desire, or are you satisfied with your sinful walk?

Read: Isaiah 33
Psalter versification: 325:3

Daily  Meditations
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 18
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

1 Kings 1
Acts 4:1-37
Psalm 124:1-8
Proverbs 16:24

Quote for Reflection:

Without the wall, Jerusalem lay helpless before the enemy; without the wall, Jerusalem was a reproach and shame. With the wall, Jerusalem afforded salvation to its inhabitants; with the wall, Jerusalem demanded respect.  David Engelsma (SB - Oct. 2001)

June 7

Psalm 119:39, 40

    A murderer scheduled to die tomorrow in an electric chair will have some serious thoughts and mixed emotions. He should be filled with fear and be moved to plead for his life. If he is a child of  God, as David who murdered Bathsheba's husband was, he will by God's grace confess that he deserves that punishment. That is what the psalmist also confesses in Psalm 119:39, 40 in these words, "Turn away my reproach which I fear; for Thy judgments are good. Behold,  longed after Thy precepts: quicken me in Thy righteousness."

    His reproach is his blame, his discredit, or if you will, his guilt, which calls for punishment in the terrors of hell. Because he believes that God's judgments are good and that he deserves this punishment, and because, being born again, he desires to walk in God's precepts, he does pray that his life may be spared in a righteous way. As we sing:

    Turn Thou away reproach and fear:
    Thy righteous judgments I confess:
    To know Thy precepts I desire,
    Revive me in Thy righteousness.

    But we must not put too much stress on this escape from punishment, and on a life of joy in its place, Take a good look at the psalmist's confession and his prayer that he be saved in a righteous way.

    If we want relief and life in an unrighteous way, we add to our sins. For then we want nothing to do with Christ and His cross and are not longing to keep God's precepts. We are not revealing a love for God and to have Him glorified, but are manifesting a love for self. If we want to be quickened, or revived, we must want a life of love to God with a desire or longing to walk in His law, and to say that His judgments are good.

    The debt must be paid in full; but we must also long to be able to serve God fully with every fiber of our being, We may desire life; but we must want to live a life that says that God's ordinances are good and that we long to be able to keep His precepts perfectly. We must desire the removal of our guilt by Christ's cross; but we must also long for the work of His Spirit to fill us with love for God.

Read: Psalm 51
Psalter versification: 325:4

Daily  Meditations
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 4
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

1 Kings 2
1 Kings 3:1-2
Acts 5:1-42
Psalm 125:1-5
Proverbs 16:25

Quote for Reflection:

The main truth that parents must teach their children is God's redemption of them from their sins by the cross of Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins in Jesus' blood, received and enjoyed through believing on Him.  Every father and mother must be able and ready, having perceived the distress of the child and having carefully drawn out the confession of sin that burdens the child, to speak the gospel of grace to thechild's troubled heart.  David J. Engelsma, "As a Father Pitieth his Children."

June 8

Psalm 46:1-3

    Who is there that can stop a violent earthquake? Who can put a cork on the mouth of a volcano and stop the flow of destructive and killing lava? Who can protect his house when a tornado is headed toward it?  Who can ward off the attack of an overwhelming number of fully armed murderous thieves?

    The answer we will find in Psalm 46:1-3, where we read, "God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.''

    The almighty God is our hope. He has all things completely under His control. Threatening political, social, and economic situations are not due to temporary loss of control. With God there are no accidents. Every creature large and small with life and without life, depends every split-second upon God for its existence, and does only what He is pleased to do through it. We have, therefore a powerful Father Who does not simply keep every creature from working against our good, but in working what is for the good He promised us. He is our refuge but also our strength. In Him we hide, and His strength will surely keep us safe and bring us to everlasting blessedness.

    A song we do well to learn and sing is our Psalter versification:

    God is our refuge and our strength,
    Our ever present aid,
    And, therefore, though the earth remove,
    We will not be afraid;
    Though hills amidst the seas be cast,
    Though foaming waters roar,
    Yea though the mighty billows shake
    The mountains on the shore.

    We are headed for wars and rumors of wars, nation rising up against nation, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places (Matthew 24:6-12). But we are not only safe; all these will serve the purpose of preparing the way for Christ's return, and will bring us to the city of God and its everlasting blessedness.

Read: Psalm 46
Psalter versification: 126:1

Daily  Meditations
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 365
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

1 Kings 3:3-28
1 Kings 4
Acts 6:1-15
Psalm 126:1-6
Proverbs 16:26-27

Quote for Reflection:

“When God creates faith in a man, it is certainly as great a work as if He were creating heaven and earth anew.”                  Martin Luther

June 9

Psalm 46:4,5

    There is a place where all misery and tears will forever be behind us. It is a place where we will dwell in the sunshine of God's presence, and where nothing and no one can ever drive us out and away from heavenly blessedness.  Of that place the psalmist sings in Psalm 46:4,5. He writes, "There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her and that right early.''

    Satan succeeded in getting Adam and Eve out of the place that pictured this realm of everlasting bliss. But he is not going to keep us from entering and living forever in that city of which the garden of Eden was only a picture.  And of all this we can be sure because God dwells in that city, and He is our refuge (verse 7). We ought to see this truth much more clearly than the psalmist, for by faith we have seen God's Son come into our flesh, blot out our sins, rise from the dead again the third day, and ascend to God's right hand with power over all things in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).

    Who can prevent that King from bringing us to this city and from keeping us there?  His enemies God used to bring Him to His cross for our salvation. The grave and death could not hold Him; and now He has power over all our enemies. Satan and his host, the heathen, that is, all the unbelievers, are unable to lift one finger against us. We will reach that city,

    If there ever was a safe place, if there ever was refuge for the oppressed, it is in that city of God. Sing it then:

    A river flows whose streams make glad
    The city of our God,
    The holy place wherein the Lord
    Most High has His abode;
    Since God is in the midst of her.
    Unmoved her walls shall stand,
    For God will be her early help,
    When trouble is at hand.

Read: John 14:1-27
Psalter versification: 126:2

Daily  Meditations
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 382
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

1 Kings 5
1 Kings 6
Acts 7:1-29
Psalm 127:1-5
Proverbs 16:28-30

Quote for Reflection:

"This perversity never ceases in us, but continually bears new fruits - the works of the flesh that we have already described - just as a burning furnace gives forth flame and sparks, or water ceaselessly bubbles up from a spring. Thus those who have defined original sin as 'the lack of the original righteousness, which ought to reside in us' although they comprehend in this definition the whole meaning of the term, have still not expressed effectively enough its power and energy. For our nature is not only destitute and empty of good, but so fertile and fruitful of every evil that it cannot be idle. Those who have said that original sin is 'concupiscence' (the law of sin in our sinful flesh-ajb) have used an appropriate word, if only it be added - something that most will by no means concede - that whatever is in man, from the understanding to the will, from the soul even to the flesh, has been defied and crammed with this concupiscence. Or, to put it more briefly, the whole man is of himself nothing but concupiscence." John Calvin

June 10

Psalm 46:10

    One reveals one's faith by what one says. However, that speaking is not only that which is produced by the lips and voice. As the saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words."  By our behavior or conduct we with a silent mouth say whether we are children of God or of the devil.  But there is also a silence wrought by mouth and heart which is produced by faith. And there are times when as the psalmist says in Psalm 46:10, we must "Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted in the earth."

    The word "still", used here, is most often translated as "be feeble, be idle, weaken, let alone, let go," and "stay."  Quite plainly then we are here exhorted to stop questioning God's strength and faithfulness to His promises. Positively it means that we have implicit trust in God as our refuge. Beautifully this truth is sung in our versification:

    Be still and know that I am God,
    O'er all exalted high;
    The subject nations of the earth
    My name shall magnify.
    The Lord of Hosts is on our side,
    Our safety to secure;
    The God of Jacob is for us
    A refuge strong and sure.

    That we may have unshaken trust in God and be absolutely sure that we will dwell with Him, the psalmist had written in verse 8, "Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations He hath made in the earth." And for us that means that we study the Scriptures and behold how He saved Noah and his family, brought Israel up out of Egypt and safely through the Red Sea, and gave Israel the whole promised land of Canaan. It means that we look closely at Christ and His cross every time we have doubts and fears. That cross was not the failure it looked like to some at that time. It was God's way of making a place for us in the new Jerusalem, the city of God and place of everlasting blessedness.

    Be still then. Be silent as far as doubts and fears are concerned. We have a refuge, an absolutely safe place and an absolutely safe journey to that city of God.

Read: Psalm 4
Psalter versification: 126:5

Daily  Meditations
 on the
Heidelberg Catechism

Song for Meditation: Psalter number 135
Why not sing along??

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

1 Kings 7
Acts 7:30-50
Psalm 128:1-6
Proverbs 16:31-33

Quote for Reflection:

You cannot make your children love the Bible, I allow.  None but the Holy Ghost can give us a heart to delight in the Word.  But you can make your children acquainted with the Bible; and be sure they cannot be acquainted with that blessed book too soon, or too well.  --J.C. Ryle, "The Duties of Parents"

Proceed to June 11

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Last modified, 28-Apr-2007